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Tory cuts leave up to half of hospitals caring for patients amid sewage leaks, collapsing ceilings and stuck lifts, analysis finds

Tory cuts leave up to half of hospitals caring for patients amid sewage leaks, collapsing ceilings and stuck lifts, analysis finds

The shocking state of the nation’s hospitals has been laid bare in analysis revealing raw sewage running through wards, ceilings collapsing in maternity units and nurses trapped in lifts for hours.

Nearly half of hospital trusts reported patient care had been delayed or disrupted last year as a result of building or equipment issues, according to documents obtained under freedom of information (FOI) requests.

Medical leaders warned these problems were putting operating theatres out of action and creating further delays for the 4.3 million patients stuck on NHS waiting lists, causing their health to deteriorate even further.

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Blame for crumbling hospitals has been laid at the feet of ministers who have raided funds from NHS capital budgets – intended for new buildings, repairs and technology – in each of the past five years to keep services running.

Some 76 out of 170 hospital trusts who responded – 45 per cent – had declared a “clinical service incident” in 2018-19 as a result of infrastructure issues.

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rightCreated with Sketch.

1/47 Baldness cure looks to be a step closer

Researchers in the US claim to have overcome one of the major hurdles to cultivating human follicles from stem cells. The new system allows cells to grow in a structured tuft and emerge from the skin

Sanford Burnham Preybs

2/47 Air pollution linked to fertility issues in women

Exposure to air from traffic-clogged streets could leave women with fewer years to have children, a study has found. Italian researchers found women living in the most polluted areas were three times more likely to show signs they were running low on eggs than those who lived in cleaner surroundings, potentially triggering an earlier menopause

Getty/iStock

3/47 Two hours a week spent in nature can improve health

A study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that a dose of nature of just two hours a week is associated with better health and psychological wellbeing

Shutterstock

4/47 Junk food ads could be banned before watershed

Junk food adverts on TV and online could be banned before 9pm as part of Government plans to fight the “epidemic” of childhood obesity.
Plans for the new watershed have been put out for public consultation in a bid to combat the growing crisis, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said

PA

5/47 Breeding with neanderthals helped humans fight diseases

On migrating from Africa around 70,000 years ago, humans bumped into the neanderthals of Eurasia. While humans were weak to the diseases of the new lands, breeding with the resident neanderthals made for a better equipped immune system

PA

6/47 Cancer breath test to be trialled in Britain

The breath biopsy device is designed to detect cancer hallmarks in molecules exhaled by patients

Getty

7/47 Average 10 year old has consumed the recommended amount of sugar for an adult

By their 10th birthdy, children have on average already eaten more sugar than the recommended amount for an 18 year old. The average 10 year old consumes the equivalent to 13 sugar cubes a day, 8 more than is recommended

PA

8/47 Child health experts advise switching off screens an hour before bed

While there is not enough evidence of harm to recommend UK-wide limits on screen use, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have advised that children should avoid screens for an hour before bed time to avoid disrupting their sleep

Getty

9/47 Daily aspirin is unnecessary for older people in good health, study finds

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that many elderly people are taking daily aspirin to little or no avail

Getty

10/47 Vaping could lead to cancer, US study finds

A study by the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Centre has found that the carcinogenic chemicals formaldehyde, acrolein, and methylglyoxal are present in the saliva of E-cigarette users

Reuters

11/47 More children are obese and diabetic

There has been a 41% increase in children with type 2 diabetes since 2014, the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit has found. Obesity is a leading cause

Reuters

12/47 Most child antidepressants are ineffective and can lead to suicidal thoughts

The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

Getty

13/47 Gay, lesbian and bisexual adults at higher risk of heart disease, study claims

Researchers at the Baptist Health South Florida Clinic in Miami focused on seven areas of controllable heart health and found these minority groups were particularly likely to be smokers and to have poorly controlled blood sugar

iStock

14/47 Breakfast cereals targeted at children contain ‘steadily high’ sugar levels since 1992 despite producer claims

A major pressure group has issued a fresh warning about perilously high amounts of sugar in breakfast cereals, specifically those designed for children, and has said that levels have barely been cut at all in the last two and a half decades

Getty

15/47 Potholes are making us fat, NHS watchdog warns

New guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the body which determines what treatment the NHS should fund, said lax road repairs and car-dominated streets were contributing to the obesity epidemic by preventing members of the public from keeping active

PA

16/47 New menopause drugs offer women relief from ‘debilitating’ hot flushes

A new class of treatments for women going through the menopause is able to reduce numbers of debilitating hot flushes by as much as three quarters in a matter of days, a trial has found.
The drug used in the trial belongs to a group known as NKB antagonists (blockers), which were developed as a treatment for schizophrenia but have been “sitting on a shelf unused”, according to Professor Waljit Dhillo, a professor of endocrinology and metabolism

REX

17/47 Doctors should prescribe more antidepressants for people with mental health problems, study finds

Research from Oxford University found that more than one million extra people suffering from mental health problems would benefit from being prescribed drugs and criticised “ideological” reasons doctors use to avoid doing so.

Getty

18/47 Student dies of flu after NHS advice to stay at home and avoid A&E

The family of a teenager who died from flu has urged people not to delay going to A&E if they are worried about their symptoms. Melissa Whiteley, an 18-year-old engineering student from Hanford in Stoke-on-Trent, fell ill at Christmas and died in hospital a month later.

Just Giving

19/47 Government to review thousands of harmful vaginal mesh implants

The Government has pledged to review tens of thousands of cases where women have been given harmful vaginal mesh implants.

Getty

20/47 Jeremy Hunt announces ‘zero suicides ambition’ for the NHS

The NHS will be asked to go further to prevent the deaths of patients in its care as part of a “zero suicide ambition” being launched today.

Getty

21/47 Human trials start with cancer treatment that primes immune system to kill off tumours

Human trials have begun with a new cancer therapy that can prime the immune system to eradicate tumours. The treatment, that works similarly to a vaccine, is a combination of two existing drugs, of which tiny amounts are injected into the solid bulk of a tumour.

Wikimedia Commons / Nephron

22/47 Babies’ health suffers from being born near fracking sites, finds major study

Mothers living within a kilometre of a fracking site were 25 per cent more likely to have a child born at low birth weight, which increase their chances of asthma, ADHD and other issues

Getty

23/47 NHS reviewing thousands of cervical cancer smear tests after women wrongly given all-clear

Thousands of cervical cancer screening results are under review after failings at a laboratory meant some women were incorrectly given the all-clear. A number of women have already been told to contact their doctors following the identification of “procedural issues” in the service provided by Pathology First Laboratory.

Rex

24/47 Potential key to halting breast cancer’s spread discovered by scientists

Most breast cancer patients do not die from their initial tumour, but from secondary malignant growths (metastases), where cancer cells are able to enter the blood and survive to invade new sites. Asparagine, a molecule named after asparagus where it was first identified in high quantities, has now been shown to be an essential ingredient for tumour cells to gain these migratory properties.

Getty

25/47 NHS nursing vacancies at record high with more than 34,000 roles advertised

A record number of nursing and midwifery positions are currently being advertised by the NHS, with more than 34,000 positions currently vacant, according to the latest data. Demand for nurses was 19 per cent higher between July and September 2017 than the same period two years ago.

REX

26/47 Cannabis extract could provide ‘new class of treatment’ for psychosis

CBD has a broadly opposite effect to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active component in cannabis and the substance that causes paranoia and anxiety.

Getty

27/47 Over 75,000 sign petition calling for Richard Branson’s Virgin Care to hand settlement money back to NHS

Mr Branson’s company sued the NHS last year after it lost out on an £82m contract to provide children’s health services across Surrey, citing concerns over “serious flaws” in the way the contract was awarded

PA

28/47 More than 700 fewer nurses training in England in first year after NHS bursary scrapped

The numbers of people accepted to study nursing in England fell 3 per cent in 2017, while the numbers accepted in Wales and Scotland, where the bursaries were kept, increased 8.4 per cent and 8 per cent respectively

Getty

29/47 Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths

The paper found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.

On this trajectory that could rise to nearly 200,000 excess deaths by the end of 2020, even with the extra funding that has been earmarked for public sector services this year.

Reuters

30/47 Long commutes carry health risks

Hours of commuting may be mind-numbingly dull, but new research shows that it might also be having an adverse effect on both your health and performance at work. Longer commutes also appear to have a significant impact on mental wellbeing, with those commuting longer 33 per cent more likely to suffer from depression

Shutterstock

31/47 You cannot be fit and fat

It is not possible to be overweight and healthy, a major new study has concluded. The study of 3.5 million Britons found that even “metabolically healthy” obese people are still at a higher risk of heart disease or a stroke than those with a normal weight range

Getty

32/47 Sleep deprivation

When you feel particularly exhausted, it can definitely feel like you are also lacking in brain capacity. Now, a new study has suggested this could be because chronic sleep deprivation can actually cause the brain to eat itself

Shutterstock

33/47 Exercise classes offering 45 minute naps launch

David Lloyd Gyms have launched a new health and fitness class which is essentially a bunch of people taking a nap for 45 minutes. The fitness group was spurred to launch the ‘napercise’ class after research revealed 86 per cent of parents said they were fatigued. The class is therefore predominantly aimed at parents but you actually do not have to have children to take part

Getty

34/47 ‘Fundamental right to health’ to be axed after Brexit, lawyers warn

Tobacco and alcohol companies could win more easily in court cases such as the recent battle over plain cigarette packaging if the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is abandoned, a barrister and public health professor have said.

Getty

35/47 ‘Thousands dying’ due to fear over non-existent statin side-effects

A major new study into the side effects of the cholesterol-lowering medicine suggests common symptoms such as muscle pain and weakness are not caused by the drugs themselves

Getty

36/47 Babies born to fathers aged under 25 have higher risk of autism

New research has found that babies born to fathers under the age of 25 or over 51 are at higher risk of developing autism and other social disorders. The study, conducted by the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai, found that these children are actually more advanced than their peers as infants, but then fall behind by the time they hit their teenage years.

Getty

37/47 Cycling to work ‘could halve risk of cancer and heart disease’

Commuters who swap their car or bus pass for a bike could cut their risk of developing heart disease and cancer by almost half, new research suggests – but campaigners have warned there is still an “urgent need” to improve road conditions for cyclists.

Cycling to work is linked to a lower risk of developing cancer by 45 per cent and cardiovascular disease by 46 per cent, according to a study of a quarter of a million people.

Walking to work also brought health benefits, the University of Glasgow researchers found, but not to the same degree as cycling.

Getty

38/47 Playing Tetris in hospital after a traumatic incident could prevent PTSD

Scientists conducted the research on 71 car crash victims as they were waiting for treatment at one hospital’s accident and emergency department. They asked half of the patients to briefly recall the incident and then play the classic computer game, the others were given a written activity to complete. The researchers, from Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Oxford, found that the patients who had played Tetris reported fewer intrusive memories, commonly known as flashbacks, in the week that followed

Rex

39/47 Vaping backed as healthier nicotine alternative to cigarettes after latest study

Vaping has been given an emphatic thumbs up by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers.
After six months, people who switched from real to e-cigarettes had far fewer toxins and cancer-causing substances in their bodies than continual smokers, scientists found

Getty

40/47 Common method of cooking rice can leave traces of arsenic in food, scientists warn

Millions of people are putting themselves at risk by cooking their rice incorrectly, scientists have warned.
Recent experiments show a common method of cooking rice — simply boiling it in a pan until the water has steamed out — can expose those who eat it to traces of the poison arsenic, which contaminates rice while it is growing as a result of industrial toxins and pesticides

Getty

41/47 Contraceptive gel that creates ‘reversible vasectomy’ shown to be effective in monkeys

An injectable contraceptive gel that acts as a ‘reversible vasectomy’ is a step closer to being offered to men following successful trials on monkeys.
Vasalgel is injected into the vas deferens, the small duct between the testicles and the urethra. It has so far been found to prevent 100 per cent of conceptions

Vasalgel

42/47 Shift work and heavy lifting may reduce women’s fertility, study finds

Women who work at night or do irregular shifts may experience a decline in fertility, a new study has found.
Shift and night workers had fewer eggs capable of developing into healthy embryos than those who work regular daytime hours, according to researchers at Harvard University

Getty

43/47 Japanese government tells people to stop overworking

The Japanese government has announced measures to limit the amount of overtime employees can do – in an attempt to stop people literally working themselves to death.

A fifth of Japan’s workforce are at risk of death by overwork, known as karoshi, as they work more than 80 hours of overtime each month, according to a government survey.

Getty

44/47 High blood pressure may protect over 80s from dementia

It is well known that high blood pressure is a risk factor for dementia, so the results of a new study from the University of California, Irvine, are quite surprising. The researchers found that people who developed high blood pressure between the ages of 80-89 are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) over the next three years than people of the same age with normal blood pressure.

Getty

45/47 ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

Rex

46/47 Research shows that diabetes drug can be used to stop first signs of Parkinson’s

Scientists in a new study show that the first signs of Parkinson’s can be stopped. The UCL study is still in its research period but the team are ‘excited’. Today’s Parkinson’s drugs manage the symptoms of the disease but ultimately do not stop its progression in the brain.

PA

47/47 Drinking alcohol could reduce risk of diabetes

A new study shows that drinking alcohol three to four days a week could reduce the risk of diabetes. Wine was found to be most effective in reducing the risk due to the chemical compounds that balance blood sugar levels.

Getty

1/47 Baldness cure looks to be a step closer

Researchers in the US claim to have overcome one of the major hurdles to cultivating human follicles from stem cells. The new system allows cells to grow in a structured tuft and emerge from the skin

Sanford Burnham Preybs

2/47 Air pollution linked to fertility issues in women

Exposure to air from traffic-clogged streets could leave women with fewer years to have children, a study has found. Italian researchers found women living in the most polluted areas were three times more likely to show signs they were running low on eggs than those who lived in cleaner surroundings, potentially triggering an earlier menopause

Getty/iStock

3/47 Two hours a week spent in nature can improve health

A study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that a dose of nature of just two hours a week is associated with better health and psychological wellbeing

Shutterstock

4/47 Junk food ads could be banned before watershed

Junk food adverts on TV and online could be banned before 9pm as part of Government plans to fight the “epidemic” of childhood obesity.
Plans for the new watershed have been put out for public consultation in a bid to combat the growing crisis, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said

PA

5/47 Breeding with neanderthals helped humans fight diseases

On migrating from Africa around 70,000 years ago, humans bumped into the neanderthals of Eurasia. While humans were weak to the diseases of the new lands, breeding with the resident neanderthals made for a better equipped immune system

PA

6/47 Cancer breath test to be trialled in Britain

The breath biopsy device is designed to detect cancer hallmarks in molecules exhaled by patients

Getty

7/47 Average 10 year old has consumed the recommended amount of sugar for an adult

By their 10th birthdy, children have on average already eaten more sugar than the recommended amount for an 18 year old. The average 10 year old consumes the equivalent to 13 sugar cubes a day, 8 more than is recommended

PA

8/47 Child health experts advise switching off screens an hour before bed

While there is not enough evidence of harm to recommend UK-wide limits on screen use, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have advised that children should avoid screens for an hour before bed time to avoid disrupting their sleep

Getty

9/47 Daily aspirin is unnecessary for older people in good health, study finds

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that many elderly people are taking daily aspirin to little or no avail

Getty

10/47 Vaping could lead to cancer, US study finds

A study by the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Centre has found that the carcinogenic chemicals formaldehyde, acrolein, and methylglyoxal are present in the saliva of E-cigarette users

Reuters

11/47 More children are obese and diabetic

There has been a 41% increase in children with type 2 diabetes since 2014, the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit has found. Obesity is a leading cause

Reuters

12/47 Most child antidepressants are ineffective and can lead to suicidal thoughts

The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

Getty

13/47 Gay, lesbian and bisexual adults at higher risk of heart disease, study claims

Researchers at the Baptist Health South Florida Clinic in Miami focused on seven areas of controllable heart health and found these minority groups were particularly likely to be smokers and to have poorly controlled blood sugar

iStock

14/47 Breakfast cereals targeted at children contain ‘steadily high’ sugar levels since 1992 despite producer claims

A major pressure group has issued a fresh warning about perilously high amounts of sugar in breakfast cereals, specifically those designed for children, and has said that levels have barely been cut at all in the last two and a half decades

Getty

15/47 Potholes are making us fat, NHS watchdog warns

New guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the body which determines what treatment the NHS should fund, said lax road repairs and car-dominated streets were contributing to the obesity epidemic by preventing members of the public from keeping active

PA

16/47 New menopause drugs offer women relief from ‘debilitating’ hot flushes

A new class of treatments for women going through the menopause is able to reduce numbers of debilitating hot flushes by as much as three quarters in a matter of days, a trial has found.
The drug used in the trial belongs to a group known as NKB antagonists (blockers), which were developed as a treatment for schizophrenia but have been “sitting on a shelf unused”, according to Professor Waljit Dhillo, a professor of endocrinology and metabolism

REX

17/47 Doctors should prescribe more antidepressants for people with mental health problems, study finds

Research from Oxford University found that more than one million extra people suffering from mental health problems would benefit from being prescribed drugs and criticised “ideological” reasons doctors use to avoid doing so.

Getty

18/47 Student dies of flu after NHS advice to stay at home and avoid A&E

The family of a teenager who died from flu has urged people not to delay going to A&E if they are worried about their symptoms. Melissa Whiteley, an 18-year-old engineering student from Hanford in Stoke-on-Trent, fell ill at Christmas and died in hospital a month later.

Just Giving

19/47 Government to review thousands of harmful vaginal mesh implants

The Government has pledged to review tens of thousands of cases where women have been given harmful vaginal mesh implants.

Getty

20/47 Jeremy Hunt announces ‘zero suicides ambition’ for the NHS

The NHS will be asked to go further to prevent the deaths of patients in its care as part of a “zero suicide ambition” being launched today.

Getty

21/47 Human trials start with cancer treatment that primes immune system to kill off tumours

Human trials have begun with a new cancer therapy that can prime the immune system to eradicate tumours. The treatment, that works similarly to a vaccine, is a combination of two existing drugs, of which tiny amounts are injected into the solid bulk of a tumour.

Wikimedia Commons / Nephron

22/47 Babies’ health suffers from being born near fracking sites, finds major study

Mothers living within a kilometre of a fracking site were 25 per cent more likely to have a child born at low birth weight, which increase their chances of asthma, ADHD and other issues

Getty

23/47 NHS reviewing thousands of cervical cancer smear tests after women wrongly given all-clear

Thousands of cervical cancer screening results are under review after failings at a laboratory meant some women were incorrectly given the all-clear. A number of women have already been told to contact their doctors following the identification of “procedural issues” in the service provided by Pathology First Laboratory.

Rex

24/47 Potential key to halting breast cancer’s spread discovered by scientists

Most breast cancer patients do not die from their initial tumour, but from secondary malignant growths (metastases), where cancer cells are able to enter the blood and survive to invade new sites. Asparagine, a molecule named after asparagus where it was first identified in high quantities, has now been shown to be an essential ingredient for tumour cells to gain these migratory properties.

Getty

25/47 NHS nursing vacancies at record high with more than 34,000 roles advertised

A record number of nursing and midwifery positions are currently being advertised by the NHS, with more than 34,000 positions currently vacant, according to the latest data. Demand for nurses was 19 per cent higher between July and September 2017 than the same period two years ago.

REX

26/47 Cannabis extract could provide ‘new class of treatment’ for psychosis

CBD has a broadly opposite effect to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active component in cannabis and the substance that causes paranoia and anxiety.

Getty

27/47 Over 75,000 sign petition calling for Richard Branson’s Virgin Care to hand settlement money back to NHS

Mr Branson’s company sued the NHS last year after it lost out on an £82m contract to provide children’s health services across Surrey, citing concerns over “serious flaws” in the way the contract was awarded

PA

28/47 More than 700 fewer nurses training in England in first year after NHS bursary scrapped

The numbers of people accepted to study nursing in England fell 3 per cent in 2017, while the numbers accepted in Wales and Scotland, where the bursaries were kept, increased 8.4 per cent and 8 per cent respectively

Getty

29/47 Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths

The paper found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.

On this trajectory that could rise to nearly 200,000 excess deaths by the end of 2020, even with the extra funding that has been earmarked for public sector services this year.

Reuters

30/47 Long commutes carry health risks

Hours of commuting may be mind-numbingly dull, but new research shows that it might also be having an adverse effect on both your health and performance at work. Longer commutes also appear to have a significant impact on mental wellbeing, with those commuting longer 33 per cent more likely to suffer from depression

Shutterstock

31/47 You cannot be fit and fat

It is not possible to be overweight and healthy, a major new study has concluded. The study of 3.5 million Britons found that even “metabolically healthy” obese people are still at a higher risk of heart disease or a stroke than those with a normal weight range

Getty

32/47 Sleep deprivation

When you feel particularly exhausted, it can definitely feel like you are also lacking in brain capacity. Now, a new study has suggested this could be because chronic sleep deprivation can actually cause the brain to eat itself

Shutterstock

33/47 Exercise classes offering 45 minute naps launch

David Lloyd Gyms have launched a new health and fitness class which is essentially a bunch of people taking a nap for 45 minutes. The fitness group was spurred to launch the ‘napercise’ class after research revealed 86 per cent of parents said they were fatigued. The class is therefore predominantly aimed at parents but you actually do not have to have children to take part

Getty

34/47 ‘Fundamental right to health’ to be axed after Brexit, lawyers warn

Tobacco and alcohol companies could win more easily in court cases such as the recent battle over plain cigarette packaging if the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is abandoned, a barrister and public health professor have said.

Getty

35/47 ‘Thousands dying’ due to fear over non-existent statin side-effects

A major new study into the side effects of the cholesterol-lowering medicine suggests common symptoms such as muscle pain and weakness are not caused by the drugs themselves

Getty

36/47 Babies born to fathers aged under 25 have higher risk of autism

New research has found that babies born to fathers under the age of 25 or over 51 are at higher risk of developing autism and other social disorders. The study, conducted by the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai, found that these children are actually more advanced than their peers as infants, but then fall behind by the time they hit their teenage years.

Getty

37/47 Cycling to work ‘could halve risk of cancer and heart disease’

Commuters who swap their car or bus pass for a bike could cut their risk of developing heart disease and cancer by almost half, new research suggests – but campaigners have warned there is still an “urgent need” to improve road conditions for cyclists.

Cycling to work is linked to a lower risk of developing cancer by 45 per cent and cardiovascular disease by 46 per cent, according to a study of a quarter of a million people.

Walking to work also brought health benefits, the University of Glasgow researchers found, but not to the same degree as cycling.

Getty

38/47 Playing Tetris in hospital after a traumatic incident could prevent PTSD

Scientists conducted the research on 71 car crash victims as they were waiting for treatment at one hospital’s accident and emergency department. They asked half of the patients to briefly recall the incident and then play the classic computer game, the others were given a written activity to complete. The researchers, from Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Oxford, found that the patients who had played Tetris reported fewer intrusive memories, commonly known as flashbacks, in the week that followed

Rex

39/47 Vaping backed as healthier nicotine alternative to cigarettes after latest study

Vaping has been given an emphatic thumbs up by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers.
After six months, people who switched from real to e-cigarettes had far fewer toxins and cancer-causing substances in their bodies than continual smokers, scientists found

Getty

40/47 Common method of cooking rice can leave traces of arsenic in food, scientists warn

Millions of people are putting themselves at risk by cooking their rice incorrectly, scientists have warned.
Recent experiments show a common method of cooking rice — simply boiling it in a pan until the water has steamed out — can expose those who eat it to traces of the poison arsenic, which contaminates rice while it is growing as a result of industrial toxins and pesticides

Getty

41/47 Contraceptive gel that creates ‘reversible vasectomy’ shown to be effective in monkeys

An injectable contraceptive gel that acts as a ‘reversible vasectomy’ is a step closer to being offered to men following successful trials on monkeys.
Vasalgel is injected into the vas deferens, the small duct between the testicles and the urethra. It has so far been found to prevent 100 per cent of conceptions

Vasalgel

42/47 Shift work and heavy lifting may reduce women’s fertility, study finds

Women who work at night or do irregular shifts may experience a decline in fertility, a new study has found.
Shift and night workers had fewer eggs capable of developing into healthy embryos than those who work regular daytime hours, according to researchers at Harvard University

Getty

43/47 Japanese government tells people to stop overworking

The Japanese government has announced measures to limit the amount of overtime employees can do – in an attempt to stop people literally working themselves to death.

A fifth of Japan’s workforce are at risk of death by overwork, known as karoshi, as they work more than 80 hours of overtime each month, according to a government survey.

Getty

44/47 High blood pressure may protect over 80s from dementia

It is well known that high blood pressure is a risk factor for dementia, so the results of a new study from the University of California, Irvine, are quite surprising. The researchers found that people who developed high blood pressure between the ages of 80-89 are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) over the next three years than people of the same age with normal blood pressure.

Getty

45/47 ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

Rex

46/47 Research shows that diabetes drug can be used to stop first signs of Parkinson’s

Scientists in a new study show that the first signs of Parkinson’s can be stopped. The UCL study is still in its research period but the team are ‘excited’. Today’s Parkinson’s drugs manage the symptoms of the disease but ultimately do not stop its progression in the brain.

PA

47/47 Drinking alcohol could reduce risk of diabetes

A new study shows that drinking alcohol three to four days a week could reduce the risk of diabetes. Wine was found to be most effective in reducing the risk due to the chemical compounds that balance blood sugar levels.

Getty

Among the issues identified were:

  • A trust in the Yorkshire and Humber region where a blocked toilet meant that “faeces was coming through the floor” in the ultrasound department over a period of several weeks;
  • One London trust which had to shut its A&E department because of a “severe sewage leak”;
  • A trust in the northwest of England which had a ward ceiling collapse, a water leak which brought down the ceiling outside the maternity ward, and a broken lift with two nurses trapped inside; and
  • Two west midlands trusts where a severe leak in the roof of a maternity unit soaked equipment and damaged electrical fittings, and a labour ward became too cold to safely care for babies.

Issues with buildings and equipment across the roughly 230 hospital trusts in England have come to the forefront as the government’s austerity drive has demanded swingeing cuts at a time when patient demand is at record levels.

Earlier this year the BBC’s Hospital documentary revealed “slum” conditions created by flooding at Royal Liverpool Hospital which was badly affected by the collapse of contractor Carillion.

Although Theresa May has pledged a £20.5bn funding uplift over the next five years, this has been part-funded by the raids to capital budgets – a move criticised by the government’s own adviser Sir Robert Naylor for hamstringing attempts to modernise the health system.

“Anything that delays treatment further, for example closure of operating theatres due to infrastructure failures, sewage is very worrying,” said a Royal College of Surgeons spokesperson.

“The time spent waiting for surgery can be an exceptionally stressful period in patients’ lives. It can have a huge impact on their quality of life and may lead to a further deterioration in their health.”

Since 2017-18 the “high risk maintenance” backlog identified by hospitals – the cost of addressing the most critical infrastructure issues – has topped £1bn, up from £947m in 2016-17.

Scaffolding collapse in Hampstead Heath

But the total bill is six times bigger, and NHS Providers – which represents trusts – said raids on capital funds were no longer sustainable.

“Trusts need urgent access to capital funding to solve the real patient safety and quality concerns that have developed,” said deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, whose party carried out the FOI requests, said: “Years of Tory cuts are pushing hospitals to rack and ruin.

“The NHS now faces a staggering £6bn repair bill, £3bn of which is considered ‘high’ or ‘significant’ risk.

“Patients deserve to be treated in the very best quality health facilities with the most up to date equipment, and yet the Tories have utterly failed to invest in the infrastructure capital budgets.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We want patients to receive world-class care so we’re investing £3.9bn to upgrade facilities, which is already improving A&Es, buying cutting edge technology and putting more beds on wards up and down the country.

“The NHS Long Term Plan, backed by an extra £33.9bn a year by 2023-24, sets out ambitions to further modernise the health service over the next 10 years and we will consider capital funding proposals from the NHS in the Spending Review later this year.”

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